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P V Sindhu loses to Carolina Marin in final, ends up with silver

World number one Carolina Marin of Spain overcame a first game loss to outplay India's P. V. Sindhu 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 in the final and win the gold medal in the badminton women's singles at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

P. V. Sindhu
P. V. Sindhu
World number one Carolina Marin of Spain overcame a first game loss to outplay India's P. V. Sindhu 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 in the final and win the gold medal in the badminton women's singles at the Olympic Games here today.
 
It was Marin almost all the way in the match, barring the later stages of the first game, when Sindhu came from behind at 12-16 to first come up on level and then reel off five points in a row to win at 21-16.
 
But, overall, the 21-year-old was up against a much better player today as the Spaniard played aggressively almost throughout and controlled the proceedings.
 
This was the first time that an Indian had made it to the badminton singles final and the silver that Sindhu won today is an improvement on the bronze won by her teammate Saina Nehwal at the London Olympics in 2012.
 
Sindhu, appearing in her first Olympics, managed to stay level with Marin in the opening minutes but was soon behind at 2-5, 5-9 and then 6-12 as the Spaniard attacked well, both from the baseline and the net, and kept her rival moving all over court.
 
The Indian, however, fought back to narrow the gap at 16-17 but Marin then moved ahead to 19-16 with a powerful shot to Sindhu's backhand. A series of unforced errors by Marin helped Sindhu pull up at 19-19 and the Indian quickly picked up two more points to win at 21-19 before the Spaniard quite realised what had happened. Sindhu had scored five points in a row at that stage, reminding spectators of the manner in which she had reeled off 11 points in a row in the second game of yesterday's semi-final against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, which she had won 21-19, 21-10.
 
Marin, an amazingly fast mover on the court, appeared more determined in the second game as she quickly jumped to a 4-0 lead, which she widened to 10-2 and then 11-4 before Sindhu could settle down.
 
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Sindhu fought back briefly, defending wll and come up some good shots at the net, to make it 7-14 but Marin, with superb angled shots, beautiful wrist work and deft placements, ensured that she stayed ahead, moving to 18-10 and then sealing the game at 21-12.
 
Marin began the decider on an aggressive note, grabbing a 7-4 lead. Again, Sindhu clawed her way back into the game by equalising at 10-10. The two players crossed over with Marin having a slender 11-10 advantage.
 
Sindhu kept up the fight but could not quite catch up and was behind at 14-16 from where Marin managed six points in a row to end up with six match points and prevailed finally at 21-15 to win the gold -- the first European woman to achieve the distinction in badminton at the Olympics. Sindhu is the first Indian woman to win a silver at the Olympics.
 
Sindhu has, in the process, become the fourth Indian to win an Olympic siver. The first was shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in 2004, followed by shooter Vijay Kumkar and wrestler Sushil Kumar, both in 2008.
 
The silver helped India to move up to the 57th place in the medals tally table.
 
“I played well. I wanted to win, but I could not," Sindhu said after the match. “I am proud of what I have achieved.  Silver is no  mean achievement in  the Olympics."
 
“It was a tough encounter  and I gave my best," Sindhu said. “Marin is a very good player she played well. I tried to stop her in the third, but could not but I am not complaining.
 
“Every player wants to win and, in my heart of hearts, I was also thinking that only one match is left for the gld but that  turned out to be elusive.
 
“Never mind, it was a good match. I never thought I will ever play in the Olympic final. I am happy with the silver I got," she added.
 
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ICC World T20: New Zealand stun India by 47 runs

New Zealand pulled off a stunning 47-run win over hosts India in the first group stage match of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium at Nagpur on Tuesday night.

 
New Zealand stun India, win by 47 runs
 
New Zealand pulled off a stunning 47-run win over hosts India in the first group stage match of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here tonight.
 
The hosts appeared to have done well when they restricted New Zealand to 126 for seven in their 20 overs after the Kiwis' skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bat first.
 
But they then managed to bowl out the Indians for just 79 in 18.1 overs to maintain their all-win record against India in T20 internationals, winning all the five matches they have met in so far. The shabby batting performance by the Indians was clearly no match for the might of the New Zealand bowling today.
 
Chasing what appeared to be an easy target, both the Indian openers departed under 10 runs. Shikhar Dhawan (1) was the first to go, trapped leg before wicket by Nathan McCullum.
 
Rohit Sharma followed him in the third over after making just five runs. He tried to take on Mitchell Santer, only to be removed by a stumping by Luke Ronchi. Suresh Raina (1) followed him into the pavilion in the same over. The south paw tried to flick the ball past mid-wicket only to play it too high and was caught by a waiting Martin Guptill at short mid-wicket.
 
Circumstances turned worse when Yuvraj Singh (4) followed within the power play, giving a return catch to Mccullum. Kohli who tried to build the innings with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni departed at the start of the ninth over.
 
By this time India were 39/5 and had bleak hopes of regaining control of the match.
 
Soon the rest of the tail tumbled for a feeble 79/10 in 18.1 overs. Except Dhoni (30), Kohli (23) and Ravichandran Ashwin (10), none of the other batsmen could cross into double digits.
 
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The New Zealnd bowlers had a great day in the field with the ball. Slow-left-arm bowler Santer topped the bowling chart with figures of four for 11 with an economy of 2.75. This was backed up by Ish Sodhi who clamed three wickets for 18 in his four overs. Santer was chosen Player of the Match.
 
Earlier, things did not appear to be going to well for the Kiwis as they made first use of the pitch.
 
Opener Guptill smashed the first ball of the match from Ashwin for a straight six. But the off-spinner got even two balls later, trapping the batsman leg before wicket.
 
Colin Munro, who replaced him, departed after making just seven an over later, top-edging Ashish Nehra's ball to wide mid-on.
 
From then on, the Indian bowling attack struck home in terms of both picking up wickets at regular intervals and also restricting the Kiwis' run tally. 
 
Both Raina and Ravindra Jadeja completed their four overs with figures of one for 15 as the Indians came up with a good all-round perfomrnance in the field.
 
Dhoni took a catch off Jadeja and did a stumping as well and two brilliant runouts by Raina and Dhawan added to New Zealand's woes.
 
Corey Anderson stood out in the batting order, scoring 34 runs, and Luke Ronchi  scored 21 off 11 balls to take the side's total to 126 for seven at the end of 20 overs.
 
Scoreboard:
New Zealand innings (20 overs maximum)
MJ Guptill lbw b Ashwin 6
KS Williamson st Dhoni b Raina 8
C Munro c Pandya b Nehra 7
CJ Anderson b Bumrah 34
LRPL Taylor run out (Raina) 10
MJ Santner c †Dhoni b Jadeja 18
GD Elliott run out (Dhawan/Nehra) 9
L Ronchi not out 21
NL McCullum not out 0
Extras (b 4, lb 3, w 6) 13
Total (7 wickets; 20 overs) 126 (6.30 runs per over)
Did not bat: AF Milne, IS Sodhi
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Guptill, 0.2 ov), 2-13 (Munro, 1.3 ov), 3-35 (Williamson, 6.5 ov), 4-61 (Taylor, 11.3 ov), 5-89 (Anderson, 15.4 ov), 6-98 (Santner, 16.4 ov), 7-114 (Elliott, 19.3 ov)
Bowling
R Ashwin 4 0 32 1
A Nehra 3 1 20 1
JJ Bumrah 4 0 15 1
SK Raina 4 0 16 1
RA Jadeja 4 0 26 1
HH Pandya 1 0 10 0
 
India innings (target: 127 runs from 20 overs)
RG Sharma st Ronchi b Santner 5
S Dhawan lbw b McCullum 1
V Kohli c Ronchi b Sodhi 23
SK Raina c Guptill b Santner 1
Yuvraj Singh c & b McCullum 4
MS Dhoni c McCullum b Santner 30
HH Pandya lbw b Santner 1
RA Jadeja c & b Sodhi 0
R Ashwin st Ronchi b Sodhi 10
A Nehra b Milne 0
JJ Bumrah not out 0
Extras (w 3, nb 1) 4
Total (all out; 18.1 overs) 79 (4.34 runs per over)
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Dhawan, 0.5 ov), 2-10 (Sharma, 2.2 ov), 3-12 (Raina, 2.5 ov), 4-26 (Yuvraj Singh, 4.5 ov), 5-39 (Kohli, 8.1 ov), 6-42 (Pandya, 9.4 ov), 7-43 (Jadeja, 10.2 ov), 8-73 (Ashwin, 16.3 ov), 9-79 (Dhoni, 17.4 ov), 10-79 (Nehra, 18.1 ov)
Bowling
NL McCullum 3 0 15 2
CJ Anderson 3 0 18 0
MJ Santner 4 0 11 4
GD Elliott 2 0 9 0
AF Milne 2.1 0 8 1
IS Sodhi 4 0 18 3
 
Toss - New Zealand, who chose to bat
Points - New Zealand 2, India 0
Player of the match - MJ Santner (New Zealand)
 
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SC appoints Gavaskar to oversee IPL as interim BCCI chief, Yadav to handle other functions

The Supreme Court on Friday appointed former Indian cricket skipper Sunil Gavaskar as interim president of the BCCI to oversee the IPL in place of incumbent N Srinivasan, who has stepped aside till the completion of the inquiry into allegations of betting and spot-fixing in the Twenty20 tournament.

 
BCCI counsel welcomes SC verdict
The Supreme Court today appointed former Indian cricket skipper Sunil Gavaskar as interim president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to oversee the Indian Premier League (IPL) in place of incumbent N Srinivasan, who has stepped aside till the completion of the inquiry into allegations of betting and spot-fixing in the Twenty20 tournament.
 
The apex court also said that all other functions of the BCCI president would be handled by another former cricketer, Shivlal Yadav, who is the seniormost vice-president of the BCCI. He represents the South Zone, the zone represented by Mr Srinivasan.
 
The court also allowed the two teams, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), to participate in the seventh season of IPL beginning April 16. Both teams are being investigated for alleged involvement in the betting and spot-fixing scandal.
 
A two-judge bench comprising Mr Justice A K Patnaik and Mr Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla posted the matters before them, arising out of two petitions, for further hearing to April 16 and noted that it would take some more days after that for the hearing to be completed and for judgement to be delivered.
 
They noted that Mr Srinivasan had made a written offer through his counsel that, till investigation into which the allegations against him is completed, he will not discharge any of the functions of the post.
 
Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the Cricket Association of Bihar in one of the petitions, had submitted that no further investigation into the allegations against Mr. Srinivasan is necessary as the findings of the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee, appointed by the court, and the materials relied on by the said committee for the findings were sufficient for the court to remove Mr. Srinivasan from the post of BCCI president as prayed in the petition before the Bombay High Court.
 
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"As we are yet to hear all the parties in these matters, we cannot at this stage form any opinion and pass orders on the basis of such opinion for removal of Mr. Srinivasan from the post of the President of the BCCI. 
 
"The IPL 2014 is, however, scheduled to commence on 16th April, 2014 and we have to pass interim orders to ensure that all those who love cricket continue to watch cricket in IPL 2014 and the matches are played by the players in accordance with the IPL Rules," the judges said.
 
"Considering the fact that Mr. Sunil Gavaskar was a cricket player of great repute and eminence, a captain of the Indian cricket team for a long period and has a wide experience in cricket related activities and of men and matters, we appoint him, as an interim measure, to function as and exercise
the powers of the President of the BCCI in relation to the IPL, 2014 till we hear and deliver the judgment in these matters. We make it clear that
with regard to all other matters of BCCI, the senior most Vice-President of the BCCI, Mr. Shiv Lal Yadav, will discharge the functions of the President of the
BCCI. 
 
"We also direct that till we deliver the judgment, none of the employees of India Cement Limited or its associate companies (except cricket players or commentators) will perform any of the duties assigned to them by the BCCI and the Interim President, Mr. Sunil Gavaskar, will have power to engage the services of such persons on whom he has confidence for work in connection with the IPL 2014," the order said.
 
The court said that it was upto Mr Gavaskar to decide as to whether Mr Sundar Raman, also an employee of India Cement, Should continue as Chief Operating Officer of IPL or not.
 
"In case of any difficulty, Mr. Gavaskar may apply to this Court for appropriate orders," the judges said.
 
They also said that Mr Gavaskar would not work as a commentator during this period as an interim president of the BCCI in relation to IPL matters, and that he would be adequately compensated for the loss of income by the BCCI.
 
The compensation amount would be determined after the court resumes hearing in the matter on April 16.
 
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"We make it clear that we have not passed any order preventing any player or any team from participating in the IPL Tournament 2014," the court added.
 
The Supreme Court had on Tuesday said that Mr Srinivasan should step aside till the IPL probe is over and given it time until yesterday to come up with a proposal in this regard.
 
The BCCI yesterday told the court that Mr Srinivasan was willing to do so and that it was keen that the probe be completed expeditiously so that the whole episode could be put behind and it could move forward.
 
The Supreme Court proposed yesterday that Mr Srinivasan should step down and an eminent cricketer such as Mr Gavaskar be appointed in his place till it gave its final verdict in the IPL case.
 
It had also proposed that CSK and RR should not be part of IPL 7 and that no peson associated with India Cements, the company headed by Mr Srinivasan, should be allowed to function in any capacity in the BCCI.
 
The court had given the BCCI time until today to consider the proposals before it gave its interim order in the matter.
 
In the orders issued today, CSK and RR were allowed to participate in the tournament. 
 
The decision to ask Mr Yadav to handle the duties of the president of BCCI, other than those related to IPL, is in keeping with its rules which require that its head should be a member of the body.
 
Mr Srinivasan is the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements, which owns CSK, one of the eight teams in the tournament.
 
His son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was a member of the CSK team management, was arrested by the Mumbai Police in May 2013 as part of their probe into alleged spot-fixing and betting in the sixth season of IPL.
 
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is also the captain of CSK, is a senior employee of India Cements, as are some others associated with IPL and BCCI.
 
Mr Srinivasan had last year stepped aside as the BCCI chief to facilitate the investigations into the allegations, but was, on September 29, 2013 re-elected to the position.
 
The Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee's report, which was handed over to the Supreme Court on February 10 this year, is understood to have said that the allegations against Mr Meiyappan needed to be probed further.
 
The court had appointed the committee on October 8 last year to investigate the alleged scam.
 
Some players of Rajasthan Royals, including Indian bowler S Sreesanth, had been arrested for their alleged role in the spot-fixing scam.
 
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India bags 4 more golds, slides to 3rd place in medals table

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India bagged up four more gold medals - 3 in boxing and 1 in table tennis - as it raised its tally to 36 golds but dropped to third place in the medals table in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Wednesday.

India's Sharat Kamal Achanta and Subhajit Saha after winning the gold medal in the men's doubles in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 13, 2010.
India's Sharat Kamal Achanta and Subhajit Saha after winning the gold medal in the men's doubles in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 13, 2010.

Indian boxers Paramjeet Samota, Manoj Kumar and Suranjoy Mayengbam and men's table tennis pair of Sharat Kamal Achanta and Subhajit Saha picked up gold medals as the hosts raised their tally to 36 gold medals on the penultimate day of the XIX Commonwealth Games here today.

The hosts, however, found themselves pushed to third place in the medals table, with 36 golds, 26 silvers and 34 bronzes.

England pushed past them to the second slot with 37 golds, 56 silvers and 45 bronzes while Australia was unassailable at the top with 72 golds, 50 silvers and 47 bronzes.

The day also brought some shame for the home contingent with athlete Rani Yadav, who had competed in the women's 20 km walk, testing positive for a banned substance during an anti-doping test. She has been suspended from the Games, pending the result of a B sample test in the next 48 hours.

Samota capped India's best-ever showing in boxing at the Commonwealth Games as he outpointed Tariq Abdul Haqq of Trinidad and Tobago 5-1 in the men's heavy weight (91 kg) event in the final bout of competition this evening.

The Indian, who had bagged the bronze at the Asian Championships in Zhuhai, China last year, dominated the bout from the word go. He was leading 3-0 in the first round and increased it to 5-0 by the ed of the second, finishing with a 5-1 decision.

Before him, Manoj Kumar upset the more experienced Bradley Saunders of England in the light welterweight (64 kg) category 11-2. Saunders is a European Championships gold medallist.

Kumar, 24, worked up a 4-1 lead after the first round and widened it further to 8-1 going into the last round.

Earlier, Suranjoy won his flyweight (52kg) bout by walkover when Benson Njangiru of Kenya pulled out with a wrist injury.

India ended the competition with three gold and four bronze medals. Northern Ireland won three gold and England two, while Scotland and Sri Lanka took one each. This was India's best showing in boxing in the Commonwealth Games. They had won one gold each in 2002 and 2006.

Top-seeded Achanta and Saha sent the crowd at the packed Yamuna Sports Complex into raptures as they beat second-seeded Gao Ning and Yang Zi of Singapore 9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8 in the final of the men's doubles event in table tennis.

The Singapore dictated the pace in the early stages and wrapped up the first set 11-9. But the crowd egged the local pair on and Achanta and Saha played brilliantly to take the next two sets 12-10 and 11-4. Gao and Yang took the match into a fifth set by winning the fourth 11-5 before Achanta and Saha settled the issue by winning the next set 11-8.

This is the first time that India has won the gold medal in the men's doubles in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games.

"In 2006 we went out of competition as underdogs. No one recognised us in the men's doubles competition in 2006. I was full of pride, so happy that I was finally able to do it. The government and our country has helped us a lot and the best way we can repay them is with a win today. Our aim was that our flag should fly high and we accomplished it," he said.

About his loss in the men's singles semi-finals to Yang earlier in the day, he said, "I lost the match today with close points. The competition was really tough. I wasn't able to forget my defeat today. It was really a hard phase today. I had just three hours to get rid of the thought that I was defeated today."

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India grab 6 more golds to take Games tally to 20, stay in 2nd place

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India won 6 more golds - 3 in shooting, 2 in wrestling and 1 in archery - to take its tally to 20 and retain the second slot in the medals table at the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Friday,

India's Dola Banerjee, Deepika Kumari and Bombayala Devi after winning the gold medal in archery in the women;s team recurve event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.
India's Dola Banerjee, Deepika Kumari and Bombayala Devi after winning the gold medal in archery in the women;s team recurve event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.

India won six more golds - three in shooting, two in wrestling and one in archery - to take its tally to 20 and retain the second slot in the medals table on the fifth day of competitions in the XIX Commonwealth Games here today.


The hosts have so far managed 20 golds, 16 silvers and 12 bronzes. Australia are at the top of the table with 47 golds, 24 silvers and 27 bronzes, while England remained in the third place with 19 golds, 37 silvers and 20 bronzes.


The day started on a happy note for India with the trio of Deepika Kumari, Dola Banerjee and Bombayala Devi Laishram coming from behind to stun England 207-206 and taking the top slot in the Women's Team Recurve event in archery.


A little later, ace shooters Gagan Narang and Imran Hasan Khan won the gold in the Pairs 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men event.


Their compatriot Vijay Kumar, 25, set a new Games Final Record to win gold, notching up 787.5 points in the Singles 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men event. He had earlier broken his own Games Qualification Record with a score of 583 points.


Alka Tomar defeated Tonya Verbeek of Canada in the 59 kg Women's Freestyle wrestling event at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex.


She was followed by Anita, who beat Megan Buydens of Canada in the final of the 67 kg Women's Freestyle to take the gold.


"I've been through two months of hard training. After this win I'm more confident for future events like that," she said later.


India got their sixth gold medal of the day when shooter Omkar Singh won the Singles 10m Air Pistol Men with a score of 681.8. Bin Gai of Singapore took the silver with 676.2 while Daniel Repacholi of Australia got the bronze with 674.


Omkar Singh had picked up the gold in the company of Gurpreet Singh in the Men's 10m Air Pistol Pairs, notching up 1163 points for a new Games record. On Wednesday, he had won the Men's 50m Pistol Singles and taken the silver in the Men's 50m Pistol Pairs with Deepak Sharma on Tuesday.


Ashish Kumar, who won a bronze in the Men's Floor Exercise yesterday to earn for India its first ever medal in Gymnastics in the Commonwealth Games, won the silver in the men's vault today.


"I am disappointed at not getting the gold medal, but at least I have the experience of competing at this level. My first vault was the highest, but on the second I lost it," he said later.


Gymnast Ashish Kumar
Gymnast Ashish Kumar

The gold went to England's Luke Fowell, who had a score of 15.762 points. Kumar scored 16.150 points on his first attempt but then got a disappointing 14.475 on his second vault for an overall tally of 15.312. Ian Galvan of Canada got the bronze with a score of 15.037.


India had never won a medal in gymnastics before yesterday at the Olympics, World Championships or the Commonwealth Games.


Gurpreet Singh, who had won two golds yesterday in the Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Pairs and 10m Air Pistol Pairs, won the bronze in the event. Malaysia's Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan took the silver with a score of 760.3.


Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Mansher Singh grabbed silver in the Men's Trap Pairs event in shooting with a score of 197. The gold went to Australian pair Michael Diamond and Adam Vella, who notched up 198 for a new Games record.


In tennis, India were assured of a gold or silver in both the men's and women's singles with top seed Somdev Devvarman and Sania Mirza winning their semi-final matches today.


Devvarman beat Australia's Matt Ebden 6-3, 6-1 and will meet Greg Jones, also of Austrlia, in the final on Sunday.


Mirza dropped a set but then staged a strong comeback in front of a partisan home crowd on Central Court to prevail 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 over Olivia Rogowska of Australia. She will meet the winner of the other semi-final between two Australians, Anastasia Rodionova and Sally Peers.


"That was a fantastic win. My heart is beating really fast. It hasn't sunk in," Mirza said after the match.


"I'm happy with the way I fought because in the match I didn't play that well. I knew I just needed to fight and come up with something different. I just had to hang in there," she said.


There was disappointment for the home crowds in the men's doubles with Rohan Bopanna and Devvarman going down 6-3, 3-6, 4-6 to Ross Hutchins and Ken Skupski of England and Mahesh Bhupati and Leander Paes losing 2-6, 2-6 to Paul Hanley and Peter Luczak of Australia in the semi-finals.


India's Rahul Banerjee and Tarundeep Rai won the bronze in the Men's Team Recurve in archery today, beating England for the third position.


In wrestling, Babita Kumari of India had to settle for silver in the women's freestyle 51 kg event after losing the final to Ifeoma Christi Nwoye of Nigeria in the final.


The Indian women's hockey team drubbed Trinidad and Tobago 7-0 after losing 1-2 to Australia yesterday.


In boxing, Jai Bhagwan thrashed Nasser Mafuru of Tanzania 11-2 in the lightweight (60 kg) and Dilbag Singh beat Aaron Prince of Trinidad and Tobago 11-3 in the welterweight (69 kg).


India lost to New Zealand in the women's pairs of the lawn bowls competition and found themselves pushed to fifth place and unlikely to make the play-offs.


In squash, Anwesha Reddy of India beat Zephanie Curgenven of Guernsey 11-5, 11-5 5-11, 6-11, 11-6 in the women's singles Consolation Plate Final at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.


Shooters Gagan Narang and Imran Hasan Khan of India after winning the gold medal in the Pairs 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.
Shooters Gagan Narang and Imran Hasan Khan of India after winning the gold medal in the Pairs 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.

For shooter Narang, it was his third gold medal of the meet so far and the second in the pairs. He had earlier won the men's 10m Air Rifle Pairs event along with Abhinav Bindra and then in the 10m Air Rifle Men's Singles event.


In the process, Narang became the fifth person to win seven gold medals in shooting in the Commonwealth Games. He is the first male athlete to win three gold medals at the current edition of the Games in Delhi.


Narang and Khan finished with a tally of 2325, a Games record, to beat James Huckle and Kenny Parr of England, who had a total of 2308 in the finals at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting range.


At the Yamuna Sports Complex, the England women archers had maintained a slender lead for most of the tie today but found themselves in a position where they needed to score 15 points with just two arrows left to overtake the Indians.


Amy Oliver managed only six with her last shot and Alison Williamson needed a 10 off her final arrow but hit an eight to hand the Indian team the gold.


India's compound archers had won a silver in the men's and a bronze in the women's team events yesterday.


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India grabs 5 golds to climb to 2nd spot in medals tally at Commonwealth Games

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India grabbed five gold medals to climb to the second spot in the medals tally behind Australia at the end of the second day of competitions in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Tuesday.

Shooters Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang after winning the first gold for India at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.
Shooters Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang after winning the first gold for India at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.

India grabbed five gold medals -- with two pairs of shooters hitting the bull's eye and wrestlers snatching all three titles at stake -- to climb to the second spot in the medals tally behind Australia at the end of the second day of competitions in the XIX Commonwealth Games here today.

The hosts started the day on a bright note as Beijing Olympics gold medalist Abhinav Bindra and world record holder Gagan Narang won the first gold of the Games for them in the men's 10 m Air Rifle Pairs at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

They shot a total of 1,193 out of a maximum 1,200 points to snatch victory. Bindra scored 595 while Narang scored 598.

Shortly afterwards, Rahi Sarnobat and Anisa Sayeed set a Games record of 1,156 points to win gold in the women's 25 m Pistol Pairs.

The action then shifted to the wrestling arena at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, where in the men's Greco-Roman style, Ravinder Singh, Sanjay and Anil Kumar snatched gold in their respective categories.

Ravinder beat England's Christopher Terence Bosson 7-2 in the 60 kg category after which Sanjay prevailed over Brian Richard Addinall 2-0 in the 74 kg category. Anil Kumar brought more cheers for the home team by outperforming Hassene Fkiri of Australia 6-0 in the final of the 96 kg category.

India's medals haul today also included two silvers won by Deepak Sharma and Omkar Singh in the men's 50 m pistol pairs event and Tejaswini Sawant and Lajjakumari Gauswami in the 50 m rifle 3 position.

India's tally now stands at 5 golds, 4 silvers and 2 bronzes. India's women lifters Sonia Chanu and Sandhya Rani Devi gave India their first two medals - a silver and a bronze in the 48 kg class yesterday, followed by a silver and bronze by their male counterparts Sukhen Dey and V Srinivasa Rao in the 56 kg class.

In shooting, Sarnotbat achieved an average of 9.733 points while Sayeed averaged 9.533 in the session. For India, it was the second successive gold in this event, having won in the Melbourne Games in 2006, too.

Australia's Linda Ryan and Lalita Yauhleuskaya bagged silver with 1,146 points while Gorgs Geikie and Julia Lydall of England took the bronze with 1,122 points.

Onkar Singh and Deepak Sharma won a silver for India in the 50 m Air Pistol Pair event.

In the men's 10 m Air Rifle Pairs event, James Huckle and Kenny Parr of England took the silver with 1,174 points while Hel Abdullah Baki and Asif Hossain Khan of Bangladesh got the bronze with 1,173 points.

With today's victory, Bindra completed a treble in the event, having won golds earlier at the Manchester Commonealth Games in 2002 and at Melbourne in 2006. It was his fourth gold medal in shooting in the Games.

For Narang, it was his fifth gold medal in the Commonwealth Games, having won gold in the last three editions.

Bindra and Narang today broke their own Games record of 1,189 set in Melbourne four years ago.

India's badminton star Saina Nehwal in action against Mariama Ayanna Eastmond of Barbados in the team event at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.
India's badminton star Saina Nehwal in action against Mariama Ayanna Eastmond of Barbados in the team event at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.

Narang notched a sequence of 99, 100, 100, 99, 100, 100 while Bindra ended up with a series of 100, 98, 99, 100, 99, 99

In tennis, top seed Somdev Devvarman of India won 6-4, 6-2 in his opening match against Devin Mullings of the Bahamas but he looked ill at ease. "I was a little nervous. I did well to come back," he told reporters latr.

"Playing in India is a special feeling. It doesn't matter what seed you are. When you're playing something as big as this, it's a lot more special. You win for your country, then yourself," he added.

In the men's doubles, top seeded Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi of India cruised into the last eight with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Thangarajah Dineshkanthan and Amresh Jayawickreme in the first round.

In the women's doubles, Nirupama Sanjeev and Poojashree reached the quarter-finals with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Aminath Irufa Mahir and Aminath Maleela Solih of the Maldives.

In archery, top seed Rahul Banerjee and Jayanta Talukdar of India reached the last eight in the men's recurve as did Deepika Kumari and Dola Banerjee in the women's event.

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Injuries rule Ashwin, Rohit out of Perth Test

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Star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and batsman Rohit Sharma were ruled out of the second cricket Test against Australia, starting at the WACA here on Friday.
 
Pacer Umesh Yadav and all-rounders Hanuma Vihari and Ravindra Jadeja were included in the 13-man squad.
 
"Ashwin has a left-sided abdominal strain. He is receiving treatment at the moment. He has been ruled out of the second Test," a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) statement said.
 
"Rohit Sharma jarred his lower back while fielding in the first Test at Adelaide. He is undergoing treatment. He too is ruled out of the second Test," it added.
 
The BCCI also said that teenage opener Prithvi Shaw was recovering well from his left ankle injury but still undergoing treatment.
 
Shaw too will be out of the second Test.
 
Squad: Virat Kohli (C), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav.
 
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Bhubaneswar to host one of Hockey Series Finals from June 6-16 next year

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Bhubaneswar, the venue of the ongoing World Cup, will host one of the three Hockey Series Finals to be held from June 6 to 16 next year.
 
This was announced by Odisha Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera in the presence of International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Narinder Batra here on Wednesday.
 
"After the successful hosting of World Cup, Bhubaneswar will once again welcome international hockey when it will host the Hockey Series Finals from June 6 to 16 next year. It is a privilege for us to be recognised as one of the sought-after destinations for hockey,” Behera said.
 
The Hockey Series is open to national teams that are not playing in the Hockey Pro League. The Hockey Series takes place in two rounds, the Open and the Finals. The nine highest ranked teams in the FIH World Rankings (as of 9 June 2017) skip the Open and advance directly to the Finals. 
 
All other countries play in the Hockey Series Open, which features eight regional events with up to six teams each. Fifteen teams will qualify from the Hockey Series Open to the Hockey Series Finals, for a total of 24 teams in the Finals.
 
Those teams will play in three events, with eight teams per event (three automatic qualifiers and five that advanced from the Open).
 
The top two placed teams in each of the Finals events will qualify for the Olympic qualification events. In this qualification event, they will be joined by the top four placed teams from the Pro League, and the four highest ranked teams not already qualified. The teams will be drawn and play a two-legged tie to determine seven qualified nations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
 
While India will host the second of the Hockey Series Finals, Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur will host the first event from April 23 to May 1.
 
The last Hockey Series Final will be hosted by Le Touquet, France from June 15 to 23.
 
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Australia oust France 3-0 for record 11th successive entry in World Cup semi-finals

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Defending champions Australia outpaced France 3-0 for their record 11th successive semi-finals entry in the Hockey World cup at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.
 
Three –time winners Australia have been in the semi-finals of every World Cup since 1978. They have been topper thrice, runners-up twice, bronze medallist four times and fourth placer once.
 
Australia, who are eyeing to create history by becoming the first team to win the World Cup three times in a row, were hardly tested by the French forwards who though managed three penalty corners but never looked threatening.
 
Returning to the World Cup after a gap of 20 years, only for the third time, France however did well to restrict their famed rivals to only a three-goal margin.
 
For the winners, Jeremy Hayward (4th), Blake Govers (19th) and Aran Zalewski (38th) were the goalscorers.They scored in each of the first three quarters but the French resolutely denied them the fourth goal in the last quarter.
 
The defending champions, who entered the field having already scored 16 goals in three league matches while conceding only one, surged ahead in the fourth minute when, off the first penalty corner, Jeremy Hayward found space between two players and the goalkeeper to sweep home the opening goal (1-0).
 
The French did not cave in like some others teams did but they fought back and forced the Aussies defenders to take note of them.
 
The Aussies were bit surprised by the dour resistance put by the French but they breached the crowded defence for the second time in the 19th minute. The champions forced their second penalty corner and Blake Grovers converted it cleanly (2-0).
 
Having converted two penalty corners, Austrlia looked like making it three in a row but France foiled their third penalty corner.
 
Seven minutes into the third quarter, Australia scored a goal from its fourth penalty corner  when captain Aran Zakerski dispatched the ball home after two players relayed it to him (3-0).
 
Australia kept up the pressure but the strikers played a patient game, content with rotating possession among themselves. One pass cut through the French defence and Daniel Beale earned the fifth penalty corner for his side. However, this time the scoop was wide over the bar. 
 
Though Australia's share of possession increased and they controlled the game, they ut failed to increase the lead.
 
Against the run of play, the French got a chance but Pieter van Straaten’s defence splitting pass was cleared by the defenders.
 
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England scrape past Argentina 3-2 to move into the semi-finals

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A tentative England survived a scare and scraped past Olympic champions Argentina 3-2 to become the first team to make it to the semi- finals of the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here this evening.
 
England, who conceded the lead to their rivals in the 17th minute, staged a remarkable comeback to make their third successive semi-final entry in this tournament.
 
For England, Barry Middleton (27th), Will Calnan (45th) and Harry Martin (49th) were the goal getters, while Gonzalo Peillat (17th, 48th) scored both the goals for the losers.
 
Argentina, bronze medallist in 2014, had themselves to blame for the defeat as they missed chances galore and got into panic mode after conceding the third goal.
 
The teams were level at 1-1 till the 45th minute but three goals in the last quarter changed the whole scenario. Calnan made it 2-1 for England, Peillat made it 2-2 but a minute later Martin struck and that turned out to be the winner.
 
The first half turned out to be an engrossing affair with both the teams after settling down attacked each other trying to take the lead. The ball moved furiously from one end to the other.
 
England had more share in the first quarter and that gave them leeway to probe the spaces in Argentina's defence. Initially England deliberately slowed down the pace of the game but these tactics suited the South American side.
 
Realizing that slow pace is not helping them, the Englishmen raised the tempo of the match and that paid dividends as they earned their first penalty corner in the 11th minute. Luke Taylor’s effort earned the team another penalty corner immediately. However, Argentina defended the second one. Of the 30 penalty corners England has received in this tournament so far, they have been able to convert only two. They desperately need to improve in this area.
 
The Olympic champions made a tearaway counter but England defenders managed to thwart the attack.
 
England strikers found it tough to breach the crowded Argentina defence. A counter move by Argentina fetched them their first penalty corner in the 17th minute and drag flick expert Peillat, with a powerful flick, beat goalkeeper George Pinner all ends up (1-0).
 
While Argentina players were celebrating, England strikers raced down the other end and almost equalised but David Condon muffed a sitter.
 
The Argentineans became a bit defensive after taking the lead and they left big gaps in the middle and the Englishmen took advantage of that.
 
After keeping the possession of the ball in the centre Mark Gleghorne made a fine run down from the right flank but his powerful hit was cleared by the defenders but on rebound unmarked Barry Middleton intercepted the ball and found the space inside the circle and with a powerful crack sent the ball past goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi into the Argentine cage to draw parity (1-1).
 
Buoyed by this equalizer, England went on the offensive but time and again could not get past the crowded defence. Argentina adopted wait and watch tactics. They beefed up the defence and waited for an interception or a loose ball to launch a counter attack.
 
England striker Zachary Wallace made an opening as he moved into the Argentine circle but he was brought down in the circle which earned them back-to-back penalty corners which were not converted. Argentina almost got away with a counter attack but could not translate that into the goal.
 
The last quarter turned the match in favour of England as they scored two more as against one by Argentina.
 
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History beckons India as they take on Netherlands in World Cup quarter-final

History beckons Indian hockey. It has been 43 years since India made it to the semi-finals and went on to win the title.
 
Now as they take on the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the 14th Hockey World cup at Kalinga Stadium here on Thursday, the question being asked is whether Harendra Singh’s boys will be able to break the jinx.
 
The pressure will be on the Indians. The packed stadium will be “our 12th man” as coach put it but with expectations so high the blue shirts will have to demonstrate nerves to withstand the pressure on and off the field.
 
Going by the records, the Dutchmen have an edge as India has never beaten Netherlands in the history of the World Cup. In the six meetings at the quadrennial event so far, the three-time winners have defeated the hosts India five times while one ended in a draw.
 
"The past is for the record, it has no meaning for this match” Harendra Singh told mediapersons. “You have yourself seen that how teams like China, France and others played."
 
“This is a new tournament, new match and new venue," he said. “No team can survive if it keeps looking at the past," he  said.
 
Going by present form and rankings, there is hardly anything to differentiate between the two sides. While Netherlands are placed fourth in the current world rankings, India are a rung below in the fifth position. The last time the two teams faced each other in the Champions Trophy earlier this year, it ended in a 1-1 draw.
 
However, the  head-to-head record belongs to Netherlands. In the 105 games played between the two sides so far, the Dutch have won 48, India 33, while the rest ended in draws.
 
“We will play an attacking game, as we have done so far, there will be no compromise on that issue. The boys are focused and they have proved that they can hold on against any team on the Astro Turf," the coach said.
 
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Harendra was confident of his boys living up to the expectations of the people. "Every home crowd wants their team to win. Crowds here are very passionate about the game. They understand it and obviously they will give their full throttle support to Indian team," he said.
 
"What gives hope to the home fans is that since last five years , the two sides have faced each other nine times both, winning four matches each while one was a draw. Since 2013 , we have played well against them recently. We have also beaten them, drew against them at the Champions Trophy,” said captain Manpreet.
 
The quarter-final between the two teams is expected to be a fast attacking encounter with both the teams heavily relying on their goal-scoring abilities. They have scored heavily in the pool stages. The Dutch have pumped in 18 goals and conceded five, while India has scored 12 goals and conceded three.
 
“This will be not the first time. We have played in front of big crowds in pool games and in the past as well. We are used to playing in front of big crowds,” Netherlands coach Max Caldas said.
 
“We always try to play in our own pace, whether it is fast or slow. We like to dictate. We are not concerned about India because we can’t influence what India will do.”
 
Netherlands skipper Bakker added: “The Indian team also has lot of pressure. They need to perform in front of their home crowd. So I feel the pressure is more on the Indian team than us.”
 
The Indians will be relying on their strikers – Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Akashdeep Singh – to deliver.
 
The Dutch have in their ranks captain Billy Bakker, Seve van Ass, Jeroen Hertzberger, Mirco Pruijser, Robbert Kemperman and Thiery Brinkman. They have a solid midfield and their strike force is lethal, and it will be a real test for the Indian defence.
 
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Hockey: Netherlands swamp Canada 5-0, set up quarter-final clash with India in World Cup

Three-time winners The Netherlands gave yet another awe-inspiring display as they hammered Canada out of the tournament with a 5-0 thrashing in the last cross over fixture to complete the quarter-final line-up of the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here this evening.
 
The Dutch will take on hosts India in the quarter-finals on  December 13.
 
For The Netherlands, who led 2-0 at the half-time, Lars Balk (16th),  Robbert Kemperman (20th), Thijs van Dam (40th, 58th) and Thierry Brinkman (41st) were the goalscorers.
 
This was the third time in this tournament that Netherlands beat their rivals by five or more goals. The title contenders had beaten Malaysia (7-0) and Pakistan (5-1). In between, they lost to Germany (1-4) in the league.
 
In the initial phase of the match, it was not as easy as fancied Netherlands might have hoped. The Canadians came into the game as clear underdogs and that tag suited them as it put pressure on their rivals and three-time winners.
 
The Dutch strikers, who had overrun Malaysia and Pakistan in the league matches, found it tough to cut through the rival defence with the same impunity,  especially in the first half, as the Canadians defended their citadel well. 
 
Canadian goalkeeper David Carter also frustrated the rival attackers as he brought off some stunning saves including a stroke.
 
Four minutes into the game, the Dutch made a searching foray into the rival circle and set up captain Billy Bakker, who surprisingly fumbled while taking the shot and the chance was missed. Another attack  followed immediately and this time Bob de Vooged intercepted a ball near the circle and took a direct crack but David Carter moved swiftly and blocked the shot.
 
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In the 9th minute, the Dutch had another good chance but they found Carter in the cage a tough nut to crack. The Canadian defence also intercepted the Dutch attackers very effectively and that frustrated the title contenders. Repeated assaults by the Dutch led to a penalty corner in the 15th minute but Mink can der Weerden's powerful drag flick sailed over the goal. 
 
A minute into the second quarter, the Dutch breached the rival defence when Glenn Schuurman ran down the right flank and set up Lars Balk who smashed the ball into the goal (1-0)). Two minutes later,  Netherlands earned a penalty stroke as Canadian captain Scott Tupper blocked a penalty corner hit with his left foot.
 
However, Jeroen Hertzberger, normally so reliable, failed to beat goalkeeper Carter. But the Canadian jubilation was short-lived as in the next minute their citadel collapsed. Thijs van Dam created an opening for Robbert Kemperman who slammed the ball home (2-0) and that had a demoralising impact on the Canadians.
 
Three goals followed in the next session but the Canadians should be thankful to their custodian because but for him the margin would have been much higher.
 
Four of the five previous title winners  -- Australia, Holland, Germany and India have made it to the last eight while the  fifth, Pakistan, crashed out.
 
In the quarter-finals, Olympic gold medallist Argentina will face England and defending champions Australia will take on France on Wednesday.
 
India will meet The Netherlands and Germany will clash with Belgium on Thursday.
 
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Hockey: Belgium thrash Pakistan 5-0 for place in quarter-finals in World Cup

Title contenders Belgium sent incoherent Pakistan packing out of the tournament as they hammered the four-time champions 5-0 in a cross over match to storm into the quarter-finals of the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here on Tuesday.
 
Belgium will take on two-time champions Germany in the last quarter- final on December 13.
 
For the winners, who led 3-0 at half time, the goalscorers were Alexander Hendrickx (10th), Thomas Briels (13th), Cedric Charlier (27th), Sébastien Dockier (35th) and Tom Boon (53rd).
 
Six-time finalists Pakistan put up a very disappointing show and, barring for seven or eight minutes in the second quarter, they were hardly in the match. It was indeed sad to see the one-time hockey power house dishing out such a poor game.
 
The match started ominously for the Pakistan, who, for the second time in tournament were not in their famed green shirts, as they conceded a penalty corner in the 30th second but the defence did well to clear the danger.
 
The Pakistanis, in white shirts, made counter moves and had controlled the midfield for some time but the world number three Belgium soon regained the initiative and started looking threatening. They kept the pressure on the four-time champions from both the flanks, forcing the Asian side to beef up their defence.
 
Pakistan changed tactics and stated playing from the back but they lacked the speed and their crosses were a bit slow and the rivals had no difficulty in intercepting them.
 
After playing in the middle for acouple of minutes, Belgium made an incisive move as Victor Wegnez made a dash towards the goal and his hit across the face of the goal, which fetched the Red Sticks a penalty corner. Though the Pakistanis defended it, they conceded the third penalty corner and this time Hendrickx with a low smash sent the ball home, giving no chance to Imran Butt in the goal (1-0 ).
 
Before Pakistan defenders could recover from this jolt, Belgium breached their citadel for the second time and this time Thomas Briels captalized on the defensive lapse to send the ball into the cage (2-0).
 
The Pakistanis tried to take off the pressure from their defence and made a very good move which got them a penalty corner. However the strikers delayed taking the crack and the threat was averted.
 
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Pakistan went flat out on the attack and Mouhammed Irfan (Jr) and Umar Bhutta created good openings from the left flanks but failed to get support from the team mates as their measured crosses went abegging.
 
Then Shan Ali tried solo moves but he held on to the ball too long and the rival midfielders cleared him without any fuss. As it looked like the Pakistanis were getting into their rhythm, the defence committed a blunder and unmarked Cedric Charlier with a reverse sweep sent the ball home to the surprise of the goal keeper Butt (3-0). This goal coming from nowhere dealt a body blow to Pakistani resistance.
 
Five minutes into the second half, the Pakistani defence against collapsed with Simon Gougnard making a fine run down his flank and creating an opening for Sebastien Dockier who side-stepped a player and smashed the ball into the net (4-0).
 
Taking virtually an unbeatable lead, the Belgians slowed down their game. It looked like, assured of their quarter-final berth, they wanted to save their energies for the quarter-finals. The Pakistanis were so demoralised that they could not take advantage of the situation.
 
Belgians should have pumped in three more goals in the third quarter but for the missed chance and poor shooting by their forwards. Seven minutes before the final whistle, Belgium earned their 7th penalty corner which led to a stroke and Tom Boon made no mistake in converting it to complete the rout (5-0).
 
The final whistle must have come as a relief for the former champions who had a very unimpressive run in this edition of the tournament.
 
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Lowest ranked France pip China 1-0 for quarter final berth in World Cup

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Riding on Timothee Clement’s opportunistic goal, lowest-ranked France pipped debutants China 1-0 in the second cross over match to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 14th World Hockey Cup at Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar on Monday.
 
20th-ranked France, back in the World Cup after two decades, waged a grim battle to oust spirited China to become the sixth team to reach the quarter-finals.
 
The Chinese, who battled it out till the end, bade adieu to the World Cup with their heads held high.
 
Full credit to Kim Sang Ryul-coached 17th-ranked Chinese side as they put behind the 11-0 thumping they had received at the hands of Australia in their last league match and nearly pulled off a win against France but for missed chances.
 
France, who in their two previous appearances in the World Cup in 1971 and 1990 had finished 7th, will now face three-time winner and defending champions Australia in the second quarter-final on December 12.
 
France got into action straight away as they earned a penalty corner in the 2nd minute but Victor Charlet's drag flick through the centre was blocked thrice leading to four penalty corners in a row for Les Blues. However, they muffed the chances.
 
Another good chance came France’s way in the 12th minute but the Chinese custodian brought off a superb save. The Chinese counter came in the next minute but it was foiled midway by the French midfielders.
 
France had another opening as Blaise Rogeau was put through by Tom Genestet, but the forward's attempt was foiled by agile Chinese defenders.
 
Next minute, the French goal just survived when E Wenhui intercepted a cross from Ao Suozhu in the circle but he fumbled and defenders had enough time to clear the threat.
 
The Chinese displayed remarkable agility to fall back and they frustrated a counter by Genestet' when Guo Jin deflected his flick towards the far post.
 
A couple of seconds later Wang Caiyu made another superb save to deny France an opener. 
 
However, the repeated attacks led to the fall of the Chinese citadel in the 36th minute when Viktor Lockwood ran down the left flank and passed the ball to Maximilien Branicki in the centre. Branicki unleashed a reverse stick at the far post which was deflected by Timothee Clement into the net (1-0).
 
The next 24 minutes saw the Chinese making a spirited effort to equalize but the French team comprising seven players from a side which won the silver medal at the Junior Hockey World Cup in 2013, crowded their defence making it impossible for the rivals to breach it 
 
In the dying moments, the Chinese forced a couple of penalty corners but they could not beat the alert French defenders.
 
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England oust New Zealand 2-0 to book quarter final berth in the World Cup

Scoring once in each half, England ousted New Zealand 2-0 in the first cross over match to become the fifth team to make it to the quarter-finals of the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here on Monday.
 
Argentina, Australia, India and Germany, having topped their respective pools, have already made it to the last eight.
 
Will Calnan gave England the lead in the 25th minute and Luke Taylor doubled it in the 44th minute. England will face Olympic champions Argentina in the first quarter-final of the tournament on December 12.
 
England dominated the match most of the time but missed chances galore to make it look a close affair which it was not.
 
The match opened on a tentative note with both teams aware that it could be the last match for one of them in the tournament. The Kiwis were burdened by the fact that they had not beaten the English team in their three previous encounters in this tournament.
 
In their nine appearances in the World Cup, the Kiwis have finished 7th four times, that has been their best showing so far, while England in 12 showings in the Cup have finished runners-up once and fourth twice.
 
The teams took some time to settle down and New Zealand made their first move in the third minute through Kane Russell who ran from the centre but his cross went a abegging as there was no Kiwi striker in the circle to intercept it.
 
As expected, England made their incisive counter move in the 5th minute through Liam Ansell which earned them their first penalty corner. Mark Gleghorne’ s drag flick was palmed away by goal keeper Richard Joyce.
 
England midfielders retained the possession of the ball and tried to keep their flanks alive by feeding the wingers but the Black Sticks, having beefed up their defence, foiled the attacks.
 
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Though the Kiwis were able to frustrate their rivals by effectively blocking them outside their circle, they were not able to make any counter moves to put pressure on the English defence. 
 
New Zealand tried to shed their defensive tactics and opened up the game but Stephen Jenness' run from the middle was aborted by Liam Sanford who regained the ball for England' strikers.
 
The England forwards then resumed their attacks on the Kiwis' citadel but were not able to cut through the crowded defence. Skipper Phil Roper tried to make a solo effort but his attempt was disrupted by Kiwi defender Nic Woods.
 
It took 25 minutes for England to get their first breakthrough. Roper dodged past three defenders on the right and goalkeeper Richard Joyce rushed towards him. Roper moved to the baseline and relayed the ball to unmarked Calnan who made no mistake in deflecting the ball home (1-0).
 
England did not relax their pressure in the second session and their tiki-taka hockey stretched the Black Sticks' defence to its limits. England took control of the midfield and launched forays from the left flank. However, despite having three attackers inside the area. they were not able to increase the lead.
 
After several misses and near misses, England breached the Kiwis' citadel once again in the 44th minute when, following the fourth penalty, goalkeeper Richard Joyce blocked David Condon’s shot but Luke Taylor scored off a rebound (2-0) to seal the match and last eight berth for his side.
 
The Kiwis, for the fourth time, failed to break their English jinx in the World Cup.
 
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India overcome spirited Australian fight to go 1-0 up

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India on Monday earned a hard-fought 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series after beating Australia by 31 runs in the opening cricket Test at the Adelaide Oval here.
 
This was the sixth Test win for India on Australian soil.
 
Interestingly, this is the first time India have won the first Test match of a series in Australia.
 
Chasing a massive 323, Australia's lower middle order gave a tough fight in their second innings against an inspired Indian bowling attack before being eventually bundled out for 291 just before tea on the final day. For the tourists, pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed three wickets apiece while veteran Ishant Sharma also took a wicket.
 
Earlier, resuming the day at 104/4, the hosts soon lost overnight batsman Travis Head (14) with the scoreboard ticking 115/5.
 
Head fell to a short-pitched delivery from the experienced Ishant that resulted in a simple catch by Ajinkya Rahane at gully. The hosts still had a ray of hope with the other overnight batter Shaun Marsh (60) and captain Tim Paine (41) raising 41 runs for the sixth wicket before Bumrah packed away the former.
 
Bumrah jolted the Australians once again just at the stroke of lunch by getting Paine caught behind, leaving it to the tail to achieve the target.
 
It was always going to be a tall ask for the tailenders to survive two full sessions but the Australians -- Pat Cummins (28), Mitchell Starc (28), Nathan Lyon (38 not out) and Josh Hazlewood (13) -- batted their skin out to reduce the deficit to only 31 runs.
 
Needing three wickets for an outright win, the Indian attack seemed to be on a mission as Shami started the post-lunch session with the wicket of Starc after the Aussie quick put on 59 runs for the eighth wicket with fellow pacer Cummins.
 
Starc's departure brought in Lyon, who doubled his effort of getting six wickets in India's second innings, with a solid 47-ball unbeaten 38 and more importantly being involved in two crucial stands.
 
Lyon first raised 31 runs for the 9th wicket with Cummins before adding another 32 runs for the final wicket with Hazlewood to get the Indians frustrated before Ashwin managed to get Hazlewood caught by Lokesh Rahul to guide India to a fabulous victory.
 
Brief scores: India 250, 307 (Cheteshwar Pujara 71, Ajinkya Rahane 70; Nathan Lyon 6/1 22) beat Australia 235 and 291 (Shaun Marsh 60, Tim Paine 41; Mohammed Shami 3/65, Jasprit Bumrah 3/68, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/92) by 31 runs.
 
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India beat Australia by 31 runs in Adelaide Test

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India on Monday earned a hard-fought 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series after beating Australia by 31 runs in the opening cricket Test at the Adelaide Oval here.
 
This is the sixth Test win for India on Australian soil.
 
Chasing a massive 323, Australia's lower middle order gave a tough fight in their second innings against an inspired Indian bowling attack before being eventually bundled out for 291 just before tea on the final day.
 
For the tourists, pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed three wickets apiece while veteran Ishant Sharma also took a wicket.
 
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India reduce Australia to 187/7 at lunch on final day

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India inched closer to a superb win after reducing Australia to 187/7 in their chase of 323 at lunch on the final day of the opening Test at the Adelaide Oval here on Monday.
 
At the break, tailender Pat Cummins (5 not out) went back undefeated in the company of fellow quick Mitchell Starc, who was still to open his account.
 
Resuming the final day at 104/4, the hosts soon lost overnight batsman Travis Head (14) with the scoreboard ticking 115/5.
 
Head fell to a short pitched delivery from the experienced Ishant Sharma that resulted in a simple catch by Ajinkya Rahane at gully.
 
The hosts still had a ray of hope with the other overnight batter Shaun Marsh (60) and captain Tim Paine (41) raising 41 runs for the sixth wicket before Jasprit Bumrah packed back the former.
 
Bumrah jolted the Aussies once again just at the stroke of lunch by getting Paine caught behind, as the Aussies were left with the tailenders to survive for another two sessions.
 
Brief Scores: India 250, 307 (Cheteshwar Pujara 71, Ajinkya Rahane 70; Nathan Lyon 6/1 22) vs Australia 235 and 187/7 (Shaun Marsh 60, Tim Paine 41; Jasprit Bumrah 2/33, Mohammed Shami 2/40).
 
IANS
 

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Sisodia inaugurates tennis courts, academy for school students

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As part of the Delhi government's efforts to promote sports amongst students, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday inaugurated five tennis courts and a tennis academy at a government school in the national capital.
 
"Inaugurated first tennis academy and 5 tennis Courts in a Delhi Government school in Punjabi Bagh! Former international tennis player Puneet Rawat and his team of coaches will coach players from government and private schools from nearby areas," Sisodia tweeted.
 
"The launch of this initiative at the Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya No. 2 in Punjabi Bagh saw more than 170 students from government schools in surrounding areas enrolling to get coached," Sisodia's office said in a statement.
 
The initiative comes under the policy of Delhi government which allowed and invited private academies to use the premises of Delhi government schools for free, commercially, on the condition that they will ensure that half of all the enrolments are from government schools and no fees is charged from these students.
 
"There should be no difference in quality of training. The academy should ensure that there is no segregation or partiality between the students from surrounding areas who are paying and the students of Delhi government schools," Sisodia said.
 
He also asked the MLA of the area and the school Principal to explore the possibilities of organising inter-school tournaments, once the students are comfortable with the game.
 
IANS
 

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Khelo India Youth Games from January 9

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Building on the success of the inaugural edition of the Khelo India School Games, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, along with Star Sports, kick-started the countdown to "Khelo India Youth Games, Maharashtra 2019" with an appeal to encourage India to play more- with the evocative #5MinuteAur' campaign.
 
The campaign has a strong call to action, taking the Khelo India movement forward, featuring Manu Bhaker, Jeremy Lalrinnunga, Saurabh Chaudhary, Lakshya Sen, Esha Singh, Tababi Devi, Srihari Natraj and champions Mary Kom and Sushil Kumar, among others, bringing childhood playground memories to life.
 
The #5MinuteAur campaign created this year has a simple insight: everyone is born with an inherent instinct to play -- kids and adults alike.
 
Scheduled to take place at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune between January 9 and 20, 2019, Khelo India Youth Games, Maharashtra 2019 will see over 10,000 participants from 29 states and seven Union Territories. The games will be brought to life by over 6,200 athletes, 1,800 technical officials, 1,000 volunteers and 1,000 personnel working behind the scenes.
 
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said: "The success of Khelo India School Games is a testimony to the hunger and multitude of sporting talent in India. Buoyed by the terrific response for Khelo India School Games and with an aim to increase participation in sports across all age groups, we have not just added two sports this year but the games will also be played under two age categories U-17 and U-21 to allow even more enthusiasts to participate and flourish.
 
"The #5MinuteAur campaign for the Khelo India Youth Games 2019 to be hosted in Pune, Maharashtra is a reflection of the immense strides we've made and the journey that lies in front of us to make India a truly sporting nation. We hope it will inspire India to work towards incorporating sports as a way of life."
 
To support the Khelo India initiative by the Sports Ministry, Star India has doubled the level of promotion and broadcast coverage for Khelo India Youth Games, Maharashtra 2019. The coverage of the upcoming season will include live telecast in five languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and English) and telecast of all 18 disciplines for both age groups.
 
Speaking on the youth games, Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India said: "The first edition of Khelo India exceeded expectations and instilled an aspiration for sports amongst the youth in India and now, with #5MinuteAur campaign, we are aiming to trigger more pro-sports conversations to make India adopt sports as a way of life."
 
IANS
 

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Netherlands thrash Pakistan 5-1 in last league match of World Cup

Playing to a plan, Netherlands hammered clueless Pakistan 5-1 in their last Pool D league match of the 14th Hockey world Cup at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
 
However, both the teams will figure in the cross over matches which will decide the remaining quarter finalists. Netherlands will take on Canada and Pakistan will face Belgium on Tuesday.
 
For Netherlands, who led 2-1 at half time, the goalscorers were Thierry Brinkman (7th), Valentin Verga (27th), Bob de Voogd (37th) , Lars Balk (47th) and Mink van der Weerden (59th) while Umar Bhutta (9th) was the lone scorer for the losers.
 
The teams who share seven World Cup titles between them out of 13, started the game cautiously, trying to probe and find out each other’s weaknesses and grey areas. 
 
It took only four minutes for the Dutch to open up and forced their first penalty corner but Pakistani defenders managed to clear Mink van der Weerden's drag flick but on the rebound Mirco Pruijser missed the target.
 
The Dutch came back again into the rivals' citadel but Billy Bakker's shot missed the target by a whisker. However, the Pakistani defence collapsed against the repeated Dutch assault. In the 7th minute, Sande Baart ran down the right flank and set up unmarked Thierry Brinkman who just tapped the ball home giving goal Keeper Imran Butt no chance to react (1-0).
 
The lead lasted only two minutes as the Pakistanis countered and that rattled the Dutch defence who conceded three back-to-back penalty corners. Umar Bhutta converted the third one to draw parity for the Green Shirts. The first quarter was fought on equal terms with the Green Shirts showing better coordination and fighting hard.
 
The second quarter, however, belonged to the Dutch, who regrouped themselves and and attacked from the flanks, making Pakistan defence look vulnerable. Striker Billy Bakker dribbled past a couple of players and entered into the circle, but the Pakistanis managed to thwart the attack.
 
Another attack followed but this time Van Dam’s shot hit the far post. However, there was no relief for the Pakistan defence as striker Mirco Pruijser set up Billy Bakker through to the goal on the edge of the circle, but the skipper failed to collect the ball.
 
Hard pressed Pakistanis tried to counter and that earned them a penalty corner, but Mubashar Ali's drag flick was well read by Pirmin Blaak who made a smart save. 
 
It was in the 27th minute that the Netherlands again took the lead when out of nowhere Seve van Ass and Valentin Verga in tendem created an opening and set up Verga who ran down from the middle and smashed home van Ass' pass from the edge of the circle. (2-!)
 
Five minutes into the second session, after surviving some chances, Pakistan caved in as Netherlands earned a penalty corner, but Imran Butt made a good save. A minute later, Toseeq Arshad made a fine tackle to prevent another circle entry by the Dutch through Bob de Voogd.
 
Despite Pakistani defenders' heroics, they could not prevent another goal when Hertzberger got a pass from the deep, and raced from the left and relayed the ball to Bob de Voogd who did the rest (3-1). The Dutch harassed the Pakistani defence with two more as the four-time champion scrambles to clear the danger.
 
The Dutch slammed two more goals to wrap up the match (5-1) and end Pakistan’s misery. The fourth team from this pool -- Malaysia -- made their  exit from the tournament.
 
This was the 12th clash between the two teams in the World Cup, with Pakistan winning 6, The Netherlands 4 and 2 draws.
 
NNN
 

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Hockey World Cup: Germany drub Malaysia 5-3 to book place in last eight

Two-time champions Germany huffed and puffed before putting it across a determined Malaysia 5-3 to top Pool D with an all-win record and qualify for the quarter-finals of the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.
 
Germany and three-time winner and defending champions Australia are the only two teams who made it to the quarter-finals directly by winning all their league matches in the respective pools.
 
For the Germans, who led 3-2 at half time, the goalscorers were Timm Herzbruch (2nd, 59th), Christopher Ruhr (14th, 18th) and Marco Miltkau (39th). For Malaysia, Razie Rahim (26th,42nd) and Nabil Noor (28th) reduced the margin.
 
The Germans made their intentions clear from the very start as they went on the offensive and forced a penalty which was converted by Timm Herzbruch to give his side an early lead (1-0).
 
The Germans increased the pressure and forced their third penalty corner in the 14th minute. Mats Grambusch took the shot, which was cleared by a defender but on the rebound Ruhr placed the ball home to make it 2-0.
 
Four minutes later, the Germans increased the lead when Dan Nguyen intercepted a ball and set up Christopher Ruhr who ran down from the flank into Malaysian circle and sent the ball home with a furious shot (3-0).
 
As the Germans were cruising towards a big win, the Malaysians, against the run of play, earned two back to back penalty corners. Faizal Saari ‘s drag flick was blocked by Lukas Windfeder but Razie Rahim converted the second (1-3).
 
The goal saw the Malaysian Tigers having their tails up as they earned yet another penalty corner and this time Nabil Noor scored from a variation after Razie Rahim relayed the ball towards the goal.
 
The two quick goals stunned the Germans who suddenly found themselves clueless and from 3-0 they were 3-2 at half-time.
 
The second session was a tense affair with the Germans looking a bit nervous and the Malaysians all rejuvenated. However, the former champions regrouped themselves and in the 9th minute of the session increased the lead through Marco Miltkau who, showing great agility, deflected the ball home (4-2). Even before the Germans could breathe easy Malaysia hit back earning another penalty corner and Razie Rahim made no mistake in converting it to reduce the gap again.
 
The remaining 19 minutes saw both the teams fighting it out bitterly, with Germany defending their lead and the Malaysians going all out for the equaliser. Just before the final whistle, unmarked Timm Herzbruch ran down the left flank to the send the ball home to seal the match for his side (5-3).
 
NNN
 

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1st Test: India on top as Australia are precariously placed at 104/4

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Australia were precariously placed at 104/4 in their second innings as India took a decisive advantage at the end of the fourth day of the opening cricket Test here on Sunday.
 
At stumps, Shaun Marsh was batting on 31 while Travis Head was on 11 at the other end. The Australians still need 219 runs to win.
 
Star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and fast bowler Mohammed Shami bagged two wickets each for India.
 
The Indians were dismissed for 307 runs in their second innings earlier during the day which gave them a formidable lead of 322.
 
Indian pacer Ishant Sharma was unlucky not to bag a wicket in the very first over of the hosts' second essay when he trapped Aaron Finch leg before. But the Australian opener decided to call for a review which showed that Ishant had overstepped the crease.
 
But the Indians did not have to rue that missed opportunity for long as Ashwin, Shami and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah tied down the Australian batsmen with their nagging line, length and movement.
 
Earlier, the Indians batted steadily to put themselves a somewhat comfortable position before Lyon cleaned up the middle and lower order in quick succession.
 
Lyon was the pick of the Australian bowlers with figures of 6/122. Fast bowler Mitchell Starc returned figures of 3/40.
 
Resuming at the overnight score of 151/3, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane frustrated the Australian bowlers with their patience and almost flawless technique.
 
The Australian bowlers seemed to be somewhat tired and their fast ones were struggling for pace. 
 
The line and length were also all over the place on several occasions which added quite a few extra runs to the Indian total. 
 
The visitors suffered a setback a short while before lunch when Pujara and Rohit Sharma were dismissed by off-spinner Nathan Lyon in quick succession. 
 
Pujara, who faced 204 balls for his 71 runs, eventually conceded a soft dismissal when he tried to fend off a Lyon delivery with his pad. 
 
But the ball nicked his gloves after hitting the pad before offering an easy catch to Aaron Finch at forward short leg. 
 
Rohit lasted for only six balls and scored only one run before falling prey to an excellent catch by Peter Handscomb at silly point. 
 
Rahane however, continued to bat on steadily and brought up his half-century in style with a boundary off pacer Josh Hazlewood. 
 
Pant showed a tendency to take extra risks, but did enough to ensure that the visitors went into the break without losing another wicket. 
 
The visitors lost wickets at regular intervals after lunch.
 
Pant was the first to go. The wicketkeeper-batsman was playing his shots as if he was at a Twenty20 contest.
 
He smashed Lyon for 18 runs in one over when he hit three boundaries and a six off consecutive deliveries.
 
But the Australian off-spinner had his revenge in the very next over when Pant went after a slightly wide delivery only to see the ball loop up for an easy catch on the off-side.
 
The Indian tailenders could not do much.
 
When Rahane fell while attempting to reverse sweep a Lyon delivery, the Indian innings was as good as over.
 
Brief scores:
 
Australia: 235 and 104/4 (Shaun Marsh 31 batting; Ravichandran Ashwin 2 /44, Mohammed Shami 2/15) vs India: 250 and 307 ( Cheteshwar Pujara 71, Ajinkya Rahane 70; Nathan Lyon 6/122).
 
IANS
 

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1st Test: India on top after 4th day

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Australia posted 104/4 in their second innings at the end of the fourth day of the opening cricket Test against India here on Sunday.
 
At stumps, Shaun Marsh was batting on 31 while Travis Head was on 11 at the other end.
 
The Australians still need 219 runs to win.
 
Star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and fast bowler Mohammed Shami bagged two wickets each for India.
 
Brief scores:
 
India: 250 and 307 (Ajinkya Rahane 70, Cheteshwar Pujara 71; Nathan Lyon 6/1 22) vs Australia 235 and 104/4 (Shaun Marsh 31 batting; Ravichandran Ashwin 2 /44, Mohammed Shami 2/15)
 
 
IANS
 
 

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1st Test: Australia lose Finch before tea

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Australia posted 28/1 in their second innings at tea on the fourth day of the first cricket Test against India here on Sunday.
 
Marcus Harris was batting on 14 at the break.
 
His fellow opener Aaron Finch was dismissed on 11 by Ravichandran Ashwin just before tea.
 
Earlier, India were dismissed for 307 runs in their second it, which gave them a formidable lead of 322.
 
Nathan Lyon was the pick of the Australian bowlers with figures of 6/122. 
 
Cheteshwar Pujara was the top scorer for in with 71 while Ajinkya Rahane got 70. 
 
Brief scores: 
 
India: 250 and 307 (Ajinkya Rahane 70, Cheteshwar Pujara 71; Nathan Lyon 6/122) vs Australia 235 and 28/1 (Marcus Harris 14 batting).
 
IAN
 

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